iHateSpam

Author
Nivram
Posted
January 7, 2003
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22428
<B>The year to outlaw spam</B> headline from the ASE Labs' news section stated $billions are lost in productivity as users waste time deleting Spam. Save time and automate that task with iHateSpam.
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Page 1
<B>Introduction :</B>
Do you peruse the Internet a lot? Do you find yourself signing up for free stuff, contests, or to get informational e-mails? If you do you are probably unwittingly getting on a lot more e-mail lists than you think. A lot of these companies resell or trade your e-mail address and you may find your e-mail download message queue getting larger, and annoying, with junk e-mail or more commonly referred to as Spam. Once on these lists it is hard to get off and trying to 'unsubscribe' may lead to getting more, after all you did read and respond to the first one.

Even changing your e-mail address may not be the answer. You would then have to let all your family, friends, and companies you want to correspond with know your new address. You could also setup your e-mail program with all the rules and lists to scan your e-mail for the good and bad, but how exactly do you setup those rules and lists. Well, read the rest of this review and spend very little cash ($19.95); then save time and automate that task with <a href="http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=930">iHateSpam</a>.


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<B>Getting Started :</B>
Depending on your preference you can download iHateSpam from the Internet or purchase a retail version on CD-ROM. If you are currently running Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, or XP with Microsoft Outlook (2000/2002/XP) or Outlook Express (5 or 6) you are ready to install iHateSpam. You can also filter Hotmail when checked in Outlook XP and Yahoo with a Yahoo POP access (which requires a fee).

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<B>Outlook Express Installation Process :</B>
From the above screen you will select which filter package you will need. You are then presented with an installation wizard that will display the license agreement, prompt for name/company, and request desired installation destination. The setup takes only a few seconds, depending on your computer setup.

The first filter I tested was the Outlook Express option. The first time you run Outlook Express, after the installation is completed, you will be prompted for several choices you will need to make. The following thumbnails show some of the sequence of screens and choices you will need to make.


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<B>Outlook Express Filter Operation :</B>
Depending on your choices the spam identified e-mail will be placed into your 'Deleted Items' folder and displayed in red. This way you can easily identify e-mail placed there versus the ones you delete from other folders, which are displayed in black.


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E-mails that are not detected as spam by the program can be highlighted and by clicking on the 'Is Spam' icon (found in the menu bar along the top of the Outlook Express screen, see below) will be identified as spam. The first time you click on this icon you will be presented with a popup screen where you can select not to see this popup and informed how to automatically quarantine e-mail from this address (and others) by clicking on the 'Add Enemy' icon.


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All of this filtering takes place by checking each message with rules and against the Friends/Enemies lists. Those messages not identifiable by these methods will be placed into the Inbox folder where you will have to determine its appropriateness.


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Of course the opposite is true. You will need to look at the quarantined messages to make sure that an important message is not identified as spam. You may think that doing this defeats the purpose of having the messages filtered, but you will probably only have to do this the first few times. By setting your Outlook Express program to automatically empty the 'Deleted Items' folder on exit you can keep the folder ready for the next message check.


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<B>Outlook Express Varied Options :</B>
Many other options are available to help you customize the filtering process to your preferences. You can also enable 'Learning' so that you can provide feedback on messages you receive and receive 'Suggestions' to tune your settings.


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There are two nice features available from the menu bar. One is 'Bounce', where you can send a response back to the sender with an "address not found" message. Using this option may not always work as a lot of spammers use forged message headers that prevent them from receiving any e-mail. The second is 'Report', where you can let the spammer's ISP know of this abuse and to report it to the spam-fighting group; http://www.spamabuse.org.


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Page 2
<B>Outlook Installation Process :</B>
From the above you can probably surmise that I had a lot of fun. I certainly did. It was very pleasing to watch all that spam detected and put where I could easily dump it out of my PC.


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Well, I have to tell you it was not half the fun I had when moving to the Outlook (Microsoft Office 2000/2002/XP) version. Instead of rules, threshold level setting, and Enemies List; the Outlook filter uses "internal probability engine based on the Spam Definition Library in addition to the settings you have selected for threshold and blocked character sets as well as your Enemies list" to determine if a message is Spam. Click on the thumbnail to read a slightly more detailed explanation.


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Installing the Outlook filter setup is basically the same as the Outlook Express version. You run the same startup screen, pick the Outlook version, and follow the steps.


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After installing the software you will begin by starting Outlook where you will select the threshold setting, add Friends, blocked character sets, etc. These settings and choices are much more detailed than in the Outlook Express version, giving you a wider range of control.


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Once into the program you will notice the HateSpam toolbar is not part of the regular toolbar as in the Outlook Express version. There is only a iHateSpam addition to the regular toolbar.


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Expanding the Inbox from the Folder List (you may have to turn this on by looking under the View toolbar entry) you will see sub-folders. This is where you will check mail that has been determined as Spam by the iHateSpam filter.


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Once I found I was comfortable with my setting, and began to get annoyed with all those OK buttons, I just right clicked on iHateSpam in the toolbar, selected Options, clicked on the Others tab, and setup some of my options for quicker Spam killing.


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<B>Conclusion :</B>
There is a notable difference between the way the editions filter the messages. If you use the Outlook Express version the messages are sorted between the Inbox and Deleted Items Folders as they are downloaded. Under the Outlook edition all the messages momentarityly appear in the Inbox and then are sorted and moved to the different folders according to the probability engine.

Well, there it is. Two great programs for an absolutely, tremendously low price. So point your browser over to the <a href="http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=930">iHateSpam</a> web site; read more about this program, download which version you need (after filling out an online registration form, see clip below), and begin your odyssey into deleting all that Spam.


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